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Nov 10, 2017

Chairman of P.A.C. is Cautiously Optimistic

Julius Espat

This evening, we sought a response from the Committee’s Chair, Julius Espat. For the most part, he said, the meeting was an education in the role and responsibility of the Auditor General’s office and its relationship with the committee, which in Belize’s case is for the most part non-existent. Espat says the entities must work together in the best public spirit.

 

Julius Espat, Chair, Public Accounts Committee

“It was more about the role that the Auditor General plays and the role that other senior public servants play in the audit process and how she got to the information that was provided in the report which she submitted to the House of Representatives.”

 

Aaron Humes

“We are told that there was an agreement that there should be further communication between the Committee and the Auditor General’s office, outside of the submitting of reports and that sort of thing. Is that in fact something that was agreed to?”

 

Julius Espat

“It has always been in the history of PAC’s throughout the Commonwealth that there is communication between the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee – the problem is that we have never had a functioning Public Accounts Committee. This is the first one in reality that I have been part of that has started with a hearing. But yes, there has to be more communication between the Public Accounts Committee and the Auditor General, because we are the conduit between her, her audit, and parliament, and so we are the ones that should take the concerns that she has and take it to parliament and act as a pressure group if you want, to be able to have some answers to the questions that she might have. But it also works in the opposite direction; where the Public Accounts Committee, if they are aware or they are concerned about certain issues, can also request from the Auditor General to see if certain audits can be done. We are at that process right now because as you and most Belizeans are aware, there’s so many things we need to find out about when it pertains to the management of the people’s money.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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